Why I Quit the Elf on the Shelf

evil elf on the shelf utah doulas and co.jpg

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Regina….er….Elf on the Shelf.

I know, I know, there’s an entire mob of cookie baking, Christmas caroling, magic making mothers out there who are going to shake their glitter covered fists at me. To you, I offer my deepest admiration. I am not you. I am the mom-friend wearing flip flops and her husband’s oversized t-shirts in the snow as she dashes to the school to drop off a forgotten jacket. Don’t get me wrong, I am capable. Of a good number of things! Just not…this thing.

Like many of you, I came away from my daily perusal of Pinterest, complete with anime heart eyes, at the thought of the magic this elf would help me bring to my children’s Christmas memories. It didn’t take me long to find a used elf to purchase from a fellow mother. Perhaps if I’d had taken just a moment longer, I would have looked into her haunted eyes and seen the warning they held for me. But alas….I tucked that tiny little person under my arm (the elf, not the mom) and gleefully ran back to my van with my treasure.

The first day went well.

And the second.

The third is when it got a little iffy. Our elf forgot to move.

“Mommy! Why didn’t the Lucy move?”

I stood frozen to the spot, eyes wide in terror.

Don’t worry though. I rallied and lied my rear end off. Years of Santa questions had prepared me for just such a moment.

Unfortunately, that was not the last time that blasted elf forgot to move. In fact, it became so commonplace that my kids began to roll their eyes and giggle at her ineptitude each morning.

They may have been snickering at Lucy, but I knew who everyone was really laughing at. I stared into those innocent looking eyes and felt evil in my heart. I swear I saw it smirk.

As the season progressed, I found that my evenings and mornings were filled with an unprecedented amount of dread. I’d watch the clock and burrow into my corner of the couch while our kids slept unawares in their beds. At this point, not moving that infernal creature was a matter of principle. I refused to be ordered around by my naive dreams of Christmas future. But she was always watching.

That elf became a visual reminder of holiday overwhelm.

As mothers, we spend so much time exerting our energy on behalf of our families. We are the makers of memories.

And it was at this point in my life that I QUIT.

I quit letting that doll (who may or may not have ties to the abyss) boss me around.

I quit doing things I hated.

I quit getting so stressed that I was incapable of actually enjoying the holiday.

I quit making it my responsibility to personally craft their childhood memories.

I quit procrastinating.

And most importantly, I quit letting people, social media, and inanimate objects shame me.

May this be the year we take back Christmas from the elves.

And may God bless whomever the poor soul is who picked up our Elf from DI.


Kasaundra (2).png

Not Your Average Pregnancy Gift Guide

pregnancy gift guide.png

It feels like we’ve blinked and it’s already Christmas again. And this time, you or someone you care about is pregnant. If you’re checking out this blogpost, then chances are, you’re looking for some gift inspiration.

But what do you get a pregnant individual who is most likely already going to be having a baby shower?

Our answer:

Nothing for the baby.

I know, bold move. But stay with me here.

Obviously, we suggest getting the mother-to-be whatever she asks for. If she wants a box of diapers or a car seat, then do it. But if baby’s needs are likely to be met and no requests have been made, then chances are that mom is already beginning to learn what it is to put herself on the back burner.

It’s to be expected, right?

Not on our watch!

So put on your cape and pull open your Amazon app. Here are the top 10 Amazon gifts (under $20) that we recommend:

  1. San Francisco Salt Company gift bag



Lavender-because you know sleep is hard to come by during pregnancy.

And milk-because that skin isn’t going to pamper itself.

2. “Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis



It’s no secret that moms tend to put themselves last. In this inspiring book that helps you kick a little self-butt, women are encouraged to accept and care for the women they ARE, not the woman they think they should be.

3. MAMI WATA Fruit Infuser Water Bottle



Considering that the average caucasian pregnant woman will increase her blood volume by just under 50%, water consumption is a big health factor. It’s not uncommon to get sick of the taste. These fruit infusers are a lifesaver!

4. Maternity Nursing Hoodie



Is there anything as comfy as a hooded sweatshirt in the wintertime? I love that this one can be enjoyed throughout the entire pregnancy and postpartum! My daddy would’ve called that an “investment”. You’re welcome.

5. Hey Mama Mug



When practicality meets style! This mug sends a greeting to your favorite mama with every sip she takes. The bright colors ensure she won’t miss it in her sleepless fog.

6. Gemtye Hair Tie Bracelets



Is your pregnant loved one ready for the postpartum hair chop? It’s a rite of passage. But if they feel compelled to skip it, treat them to these fancy things. These accessories function as both hair ties and bracelets.

7. Mirrored Rose Gold Wayfarer Sunglasses



Pregnancy is a time of glowing unsolicited advice. Chances are, mom-to-be will appreciate some actual shades while shading her critics on the down-low.

8. Slippers



Comfort should be a top priority for pregnant women. These house slippers will keep her feet toasty in style. Not to mention, ain’t nobody got time for laces when you can’t even see your toes.

9. Beaded Tassel Earrings



If you don’t have kids, I’m going to let you in on a sad reality. Your mama-to-be’s dangly earring days are numbered. Pretty soon she’ll be holding an adorable baby that will quickly realize that mommy’s ears are adorned with the most fascinating playthings. Help Mama live it up while she can and gift her this season’s trendiest earrings. She’s still wild at heart.

10. She Believed She Could, So She Did Necklace



Last but not least, inspirational jewelry. Giving birth is no small feat. And it’s not like the journey ends there. Then you have to actually raise the baby! Mantras like “She believed she could, so she did” are often utilized in preparation for childbirth. Jewelry is particularly helpful because of its mobility.

And remember, if you’re ever in search of in-person support for your gestating loved ones, Utah Doulas and Company offers gift certificates. We’d love to help.


Kasaundra (2).png

How to Love a Christmas Pregnancy

christmas presents your utah doulas.jpg

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

But.....how does that work when you might not exactly feel wonderful? How you feel from day to day of your pregnancy isn't exactly predictable. Throw in the exciting chaos of the holiday season, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed. To get you through the end of the year with as much peace as possible, Your Utah Doulas has a handy little acronym to share: CHEER.

christmas while pregnant your utah doulas.png

1. Cool Your Expectations

If you begin to notice that you're struggling to keep up, stay rested, or enjoy the holidays, then it's time to slow down. Your body is doing the hard work of growing your sweet baby. Cut yourself some slack. You can always reassess and adjust later.

2. Help Avoid Problems With Clarity

It's easy for moms to put their personal needs aside and focus on the people around them. But doing so, especially in moments of high activity, can cause more trouble than it solves. Be honest with yourself about what you're needs are. And then communicate those clearly to the people around you. "That won't work for me" is a great line to keep in your back pocket. 

3. Embrace a Handful of Activities

Now just because you're lowering the bar, doesn't mean that you need to give up the activities that you love. It just means that you have the opportunity to be choosy. If you're on bedrest of any sort, take some time to plan out small and meaningful activities to brighten your Christmas. You may not be able to go running through the snow, but you can definitely cut out and string paper snowflakes! 

christmas couple your utah doulas.jpg

4. Enjoy the Moment

It can be hard to keep your mind focused on what you're doing in any given. Mindfulness is key. Take the time to stop and tap into the moment. Feel the soft blanket on your lap. Hear the music playing in the background. Taste the tea in your mug. Savor the moment. Doing so will not only help rejuvenate you, but will let you commit these moments to memory.

5. Reach Out to Family and Friends

Sometimes being pregnant is hard. We understand. That's why it's so important to have a network of people you can reach out to. Ask for a friend to take your older children to the neighborhood Christmas party. Let your significant other know you need them to stop and pick up premade frosting and sugar cookies. Call your sister and have her add the last few gifts into her shopping cart at Target, and then have her sit on the couch with you and eat the badly decorated cookies from the night before. You don't have to figure it all out alone. 


Pregnancy can be a magical and thrilling time. It can also be hard and lonely. Please take care of yourself this holiday season. You're doing better than you know!

christmas twins your utah doulas.jpg

From our hearts here at Your Utah Doulas to you, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 


Maura + Kasaundra